Date: 22nd July, 2015

Key Speakers: Mr. Laura Hewitt (GM, AIMIA) & Mr. Eric Monteiro (EVP, AIMIA)

This write-up will explore the important learnings derived from the webinar. The webinar was about how customer experience and marketing ROI is driven by smart usage of customer data confirmation. Business analysis however must be based around data collection on relevant material. The measurement has to be around a meaningful customer journey.

Mr. Hewitt who is the General Manager of AIMIA discussed the phenomena of data collection and usage in retail chains. He spoke about how retail chains have lost their link to the customer over the past 2 generations. Until the creation of the first supermarkets, retails shops in the USA knew all their customers and exactly who needed what. They knew about which regular customer needed to buy meat on Thursday and which wanted tomatoes on Tuesdays. They could even spot preferences of new customers. However, the supermarkets lost that level of personal touch.

This gap however, can be sorted in the post-modern era of today. Using relevant data, retail chains can tap into the exact requirements of customers and then use it for the purpose of digital marketing. The shopping behaviours of customers can be kept track of. It can help brands connect with buyers.

The speaker explained how the entire process can be streamlined. When customers reach shops, they look for products they need and invariably end up purchasing stuff they already know about. New products rarely get the visibility. There is a need for certain products, and the supermarket has a solution to the same, yet the connect does not exist and so the sale opportunity goes missing. The opportunity would have been converted had data been optimized.

Another sector suffering from similar short-sightedness is the travel industry. This is one sector which possesses a lot of information prior to the actual event. Information on check-ins can be obtained through booking statuses. One can even optimize to know the time one has left home, one is on the way to destination and expected / actual arrival time. Rather too much data has been generated over the last few years, yet nothing substantial is taking place to use the same.

The other speaker- Mr. Eric Monteiro- who is the EVP at AIMIA, then mentioned how there exist 3 major shopping personas as proven through marketing research. They are as follows:

   · Alone and on a mission- this includes typically the office working male who visits the retail store / chain at 8 pm on a  Wednesday evening, because his wife has asked him to get specific essential product like milk or bread. This person is too  busy and not in a mood then to look for innovative, new products.

   ·  Sunday with the family- this is the working male who is traveling with the family on a Sunday and specifically out for shopping. The pace is more relaxed and the group is open to purchase innovative / frivolous products.

   · Business trip- this is when the family or individual is out on a business trip to some location within or outside the country. The purpose then becomes to shop for certain products npot available back home or which have sentimental purpose.

Data analytics can help us win back the connect with customers through following channels:

$1·         Partner data

$1·         Personal and transaction data

$1·         External sources

$1·         Market research

This also helps enable the building of a customer engagement score. Data also fetches us crucial third party demographic information. Crucially, marketers need to understand a maxim: all data is not created equal. Some must be given greater weight-age than others. Data must be used to develop customer profiling. This can even help ease typical pain points of marketers.

Another aspect the speakers discussed about was the development of Customer Engagement Scores (CES) within KPIs. This will also build a loyalty statement for customers with the seller. The organization can in turn indulge in both cross-selling and up-selling. This is a cost effective method of customer acquisition.

Surveys have further highlighted how Canadians on average receive fewest professional emails per month among nationalities. Americans on the other hand get bombarded with the maximum. Email marketing is after all the most effective marketing tool.

Tracking ROI has become a challenge for 81% of marketers as per research conducted. In the present scenario, personal data protection has also taken up critical importance. There is a trail of information we are all leaving on the internet. Data security and privacy protection then becomes the benchmark for the industry to base itself against. 

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